The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement: A Threat to Affordable Medicines and Public Health - Southern Med Review Vol 4 Issue 2 Dec 2011
(2011; 2 pages)


The 1995 Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) made it mandatory for World Trade Organization (WTO) member states to allow 20 year patents on all products including medicines. This triggered a global countermovement challenging monopoly pricing of essential medicines. Public health advocates urge governments to use public health ‘flexibilities’ available under TRIPS such as compulsory licensing and nationally defined criteria for patentability. There is now a vibrant global debate on alternatives to patents as mechanisms for funding of medical research. The 2001 WTO Doha ‘Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health’ was a response to the global mobilisation for public health and justice. The Declaration affirmed that TRIPS ‘can and should be interpreted and implemented in a manner supportive of WTO members’ right to protect public health and, in particular, to promote access to medicines for all’...

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